Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

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More Museums, Less Rushing About

Our adventures with the London Pass were driven by a desire to make the most of the various admission charges folded into the Pass. Today, however, with the LP expired, we went to a couple of the very important and free museums, at a slightly more sedate pace: The British Museum and the Science Museum.

The more-sedate pace was forced upon us by Lisa's feet and legs, which simply aren't up to the strain. She's in a fair bit of pain and cannot walk as fast or as far as she did a week ago. Admittedly, those hikes back-and-forth across the ExCel can't have helped.

British Museum
We slept in a bit, and just barely made it to breakfast before they aggressively shut it down at 10:30. Then we walked to Southwark and took the Tube to Tottenham Court Road for the British Museum.

As Lisa pointed out, you could take weeks going through this place. We didn't have weeks; Lisa was good for at most two hours on her feet. We did an abbreviated walk-through of the museum, trying to get some of the higher points, but rarely stopping to read all of the notes in the upper galleries.

Rosetta Stone
Lisa did get to see the Rosetta Stone, at least briefly through the crowds elbowing their way up to get a picture of it.

Elgin Marbles
And of course we saw the Elgin Marbles. But even just a slow walk through the galleries without many stops takes an hour or two, and it was already time for lunch and Lisa desperately needed some time off her feet.

Suitably acculturated, we allowed ourselves to be lured into the restaurant across from the museum that must surely thrive on people like us. After a meal of fish and chips and tea, we had enough energy to head down to the Science Museum.

We set forth on the Underground to South Kensington. There is a huge long pedestrian subway that connects the Tube station to the many museums in this area.

Science Museum
Lisa was minded of the kilometer-long ExCel while we trooped slowly down the passage. Eventually, we found our way to the Science Museum. We needed a rest, and stopped in one of their cafes for beverages with caffine in them and to give Lisa another chance to recharge her protesting legs before looking through the exhibits.

Bear in Training
Of course, for us, the most important exhibits here were the trains. Here, travelswithkuma sits just ahead of one of the most important locomotives in history, Stephenson's Rocket.

Puffing Billy
Also on display is Puffing Billy, the world's oldest steam locomotive.

LNWR 1868
And slightly more modern is London & Northwestern Railway No. 1868 Columbine, on loan from the museum's sister facility in York, the National Railway Museum.

There are more photos of both museums in my 2014 London Trip Flickr set, arranged most recent first. I forgot to take a photo of the Babbage engine there that I recall Chris Garcia help set up.

Natural History Museum
As closing time drew nigh, we left the museum, stopping briefly to admire the impressive stone work on the Natural History Museum.

We decided to take the advice of the signs in the pedestrian subway that recommends that people use other stations returning at the end of the day in order to avoid crowds at South Kensington.

Gloucester Road Station Gloucester Road Station
Gloucester Road station presents two different versions of railway architecture, both attractive in their own ways.

We got dinner at Wildwood restaurant near the Tube station before heading back to the hotel for our last night here.

Tomorrow's planned adventure is a trip out to the Didcot Railway Centre, which normally wouldn't be open on a non-weekend, but because of the Bank Holiday Monday, is running special events. Then the less fun stuff: getting outselves out to Heathrow for our final night in the UK at a near-the-airport hotel.
Tags: lisa, london, trains, travel
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